Coronavirus: UK bus passengers shocked man uses snake as a face mask

Face coverings are currently mandatory on UK public transport.
Face coverings are currently mandatory on UK public transport. Photo credit: Getty

UK transport officials are warning travellers not to get too creative with face coverings after a man climbed aboard a bus with a snake wrapped around his face.

A woman on a public bus from Swinton to Manchester on Monday told the Manchester Evening News she was surprised to see the snake.

“He had it wrapped around his face like a mask getting on the bus," the 46-year-old said.

"At first I thought he had a really funky mask on, then he let it crawl around the handrails."

But she said that other passengers didn't seem to be too concerned.

"No one was really bothered on the bus but a man behind took a video. It was definitely entertaining."

Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport due to the COVID-19 pandemic with 380,000 infections and 41,000 deaths in the UK.

The only people who are except are young children and people who can't due to health or disability reasons.

But a spokesperson for Transport for Greater Manchester told BBC said snakes probably weren't appropriate.

"Government guidance clearly states that this needn't be a surgical mask, and that passengers can make their own or wear something suitable, such as a scarf or bandana," they said.

"While there is a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to this, we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin - especially when still attached to the snake."

A spokesman for Stagecoach in Manchester told the Manchester Evening News the company was "shocked" to hear of the incident and are taking the reports seriously.

"The safety of our customers and employees is our absolute priority," they said.

"We expect all of our customers to comply with the government's rules on wearing a suitable face covering on public transport. 

"A full internal investigation is underway, which includes the CCTV on the bus and interviewing the driver."